In December 2008, the NSW Government made a number of amendments to the Fines Act 1996 (NSW) that reflect many of the recommendations of the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service report, Not Such a Fine Thing! Options for Reform of the Management of Fines Matters in NSW and brought about the introduction of a fines payment regime not seen before in Australia.
These reforms to the on-the-spot fines system in NSW will make significant difference to homeless people and others who face disadvantage. The most radical reform enables defined categories of people to apply to participate in a pilot of Work and Development Orders that allows them to ‘pay-off’ their fines in ways other than money, for example, through volunteer work with an approved organisation, participation in approved medical or mental health treatment programs or in education or training courses. This session will discuss the reforms and other related proposals.